"The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win
and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but
reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional
catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility."
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1929-1968) US civil rights leader
The Trumpet of Conscience
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Reader comments about this quote:
A great example of acting from your heart and not your head.
 -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
  • 3 3
    Violence merely justifies more oppression from the State. Boycotting has done more to liberate a people than violence. We must be prepared to fight, but we can do more first. Hold on to your guns as a LAST resort. Bombing government buildings doesn't help -- the government merely responds with more domestic military. Stop feeding the beast.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 6
    Archer is right on. We also feed the beast with our fear that is promoted by propaganda and lies. Military and corporate power is running our country and we just sit back and allow it to happen. We need to change the rights of military personnel which would allow them also the right to be a conscientious objector.
     -- RobertSRQ     
  • 3
    A lot said here. The mentality of the early rioters is visited upon their children and a lot of hate and anger remains, inhibiting struggling communities.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 4
     -- Paula, Grand Rapids, MI      
    Riot is never effective. Armed revolt is sometimes effective. Conversion to ones point of view from moral authority is often effective. When people call different societies morally equivalent when they obviously are not, they obscure and damage their own moral authority and that third nonviolent option. All societies, religions, philosophies, and beliefs are not equivalent and do not have the same moral authority. Indeed, some are pure evil.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
  • 5
    Guess it is easy to see why he was killed.
     -- warren, olathe     
  • 6
    Who can calm the beast within when rage is governed by ignorance and oppression. Self evident truth of equality brings opportunity for those willing to be content in growth. Mike, Norwalk touches upon the hate and anger of ignorance as Ken, Allyn, WA exposes the fabric of societal foundations. Greed has no loyalty and rarely shows favor. Trust is lost through fear of need and death. Space and science have need of the Dream, of trust and cooperation. Be about life and the living of peace, whether rich or poor, all ride upon the same ship. Understanding is worth the study, be not idle, people of the nations have basic needs, but corruption breeds contempt between the wealthy, poor and needy through belief systems. Belief is fluid and behaves as a field. Drain the swamp and behold the progress. Mr.King was very smart understanding the knee jerk reaction of the emotional heart of man.
     -- Ronw13, OR     
  • 2
    Lamentably, his Movement successors, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al., want for his vision, having revealed themselves to be little more than opportunistic and incendiary epigones.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 4
    I could give this statement of MLK Jr.'s a million stars!
     -- Mary - MI     
  • 1

    What a Stupendously Wise and Great Orator the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. truly was.

     -- Mary, MI     
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